EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – A bye week did nothing to help UTEP head coach Dana Dimel decide who will start at quarterback for the Miners.
At his weekly press conference on Monday, Dimel said he hadn’t decided whether Brandon Jones or Kai Locksley would start for UTEP on the road at Florida International on Saturday, saying he’d rather them battle it out in practice.
“I like those two guys competing against each other to see who is going to start,” Dimel said. “We need to improve our play at that position and the only way to improve is competition. That will help them to improve, so I like the competition they have with each other. They both just need to elevate their game and there are things that both of them can do much better and I think they will.”
UTEP is just 1-4 (0-2 C-USA) and has lost four games in a row, thanks in large part to the subpar play of its two quarterbacks. Jones has played in all five games (with four starts) and is completing just 54 percent of his passes for 594 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on the season.
Locksley has played in four games and started the Miners’ last game against UTSA, but he hasn’t performed well, either. Locksley is completing just 42 percent of his passes for 193 yards, with two interceptions and has not thrown a touchdown pass. However, Locksley is second on the team in rushing with 169 yards and two touchdowns.
If the Miners are going to finally have something to show for their improvements as a team, they’ll need one of those two players to step up at the quarterback position.
UTEP and Florida International (3-3, 1-2 C-USA) will kick off at 5 p.m. MST on Saturday in Miami.